Toasting to another option in the compact crossover market.

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Last year, Mitsubishi launched its Eclipse in an attempt to obscure the buying public’s shopping choices when it comes to a compact crossover. Its dynamic coupe-like design and wide stance make for a bold road presence. Visually, the Eclipse follows the brand’s fresh design DNA, which shrugs off the older boxy “shoulder pad” silhouette in place of a contemporary sport active design scripture. Mitsubishi liken it to an athlete in motion.

The Eclipse sits just above the similarly-sized, yet more practical family SUV, the ASX, and below the larger Outlander. Locally, there is a family of six models available in the Mitsubishi range. The Eclipse is a nice departure from the rest of its siblings. It’s more city chic and fancy-free, while the rest of the range are grown-up 4x4’s with some SUV character. The Eclipse, on the other hand, is pure crossover – blending style and sportiness in a pretty package.

Its swooping lines and daring design carry through into a nicely presented and crafted interior. At first glance, you’ll notice its fine grain synthetic leather that is smooth to the touch. Slide into the cabin and you feel at home thanks to its ergonomic design. Being a city crossover, the Eclipse is endowed with a host of modern niceties that its millennial customers have come to expect:

 

  • Multi-function leather steering wheel with audio and Cruise Control
  • Bluetooth with hands-free voice control
  • Automatic air-conditioning with rear passenger vent duct
  • Slide and tilt-adjustable rear seats with 60/40 split
  • Electrically adjustable driver seat and heated front seats
  • Accessory sockets and USB ports
  • Electric adjustable fold-away mirrors with indicator light
  • DRL (Daytime Running Lights)
  • Dusk-sensing headlamps
  • Rain-sensing windscreen wipers
  • Front and rear park distance control
  • Front bumper skid plate (Silver)
  • 18" alloy wheels
  • Full-size spare wheel
  • Roof rails

Not forgetting safety, the Eclipse has you covered. There is a host of aids as long as my arm; most notably the Eclipse features seven airbags. There is even one for your knees!

 

The Eclipse range: front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions are sold with a 2.0-litre motor - good for 110 kW and 198 Nm of torque. This motor is coupled with CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), and the driver can also control the faux shift steps via the Paddle Shifts. This collaboration is somewhat underwhelming performance wise. Rather, performance delivery is adequate versus what you’d think from its dynamic design. Sprints to 100km/h will be achieved in around 10 seconds.

 

In the AWD version, the driver can choose the AUTO, SNOW or GRAVEL drive mode depending on road conditions to enhance accuracy, straight-line stability and manoeuvrability on slippery surfaces. This model enables its driver a greater variety of road surfaces to travel.

 

Mitsubishi claim fuel figures or around 8.1 ℓ/100km. I used the Eclipse predominantly in heavy city traffic. With that said, my fuel readings were higher – 10 ℓ/100km plus, but when I hit the motorway at a constant 100 km/h, the recorded reads were very good.

 

Easy on the eye and loaded with features. The Eclipse features a dynamic design that carries through into its exciting drive. Pity about its breathless motor and practical CVT.

 

 

Plus +

  • Good looks
  • Spacious cabin
  • Host of features

Minus –

  • Breathless performance
  • Higher fuel consumption during urban drives

 

The Competition

Toyota C-HR, Hyundai Kona, Honda HR-V, KIA Soul, Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008, Fiat 500X, Jeep Renegade, Mazda CX-3, Opel MokkaX and Subaru XV.

Pricing

Eclipse Cross 2.0L CVT 4x2   R399 995

Eclipse Cross 2.0L CVT AWD R449 995

 

Service and Warranty

 

Both models are covered by Mitsubishi’s Manufacturer’s Warranty of 3 years or 100 000km, a 5-year / 90 000 km Service Plan and a 5-year / unlimited mileage Roadside Assistance.

 

www.mitsubishi-motors.co.za

 

 

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